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South Salem senior, Sitting volleyball player lives, learns in Oklahoma in time of COVID-19

South Salem senior, Sitting volleyball champ plays in Oklahoma in time of COVID-19
South Salem senior, Sitting volleyball champ plays in Oklahoma in time of COVID-19(KPTV)
Updated: Sep. 25, 2020 at 6:15 AM PDT
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SALEM, Ore. (KPTV) - When she visited Oklahoma five years ago for her first Sitting volleyball camp, Annie Flood, an Oregon native, cried.

“I was like, I live in Oregon, I don’t want to go to Oklahoma,” Flood said. “Why would I? That’s so random.”

FOX 12 last met Flood as she was returning from a Wounded Warrior amputee softball game in Kentucky. Now, six years later, the South Salem Saxon is logging on for her senior year from Oklahoma, site of the USA Sitting Volleyball team.

“I hated it at first,” Flood said. “I cried my way though the camp. I called my Dad and said, Dad, I hate this. I need you to get me a flight right now! He’s like, no, you gotta stay. I stayed, came back a month later and then that’s when I fell in love with it.”

Despite her tears, Flood persisted, and she is now relishing in a grateful opportunity to suit up for another shade of red, white, and blue, living in Edmond, Oklahoma, and training daily with the sitting volleyball team while living rent-free on the Central Oklahoma campus in a USA Volleyball-owned housing complex.

“So, I guess this has been a good thing to come out of COVID, but yeah, as soon as I found out my school was doing online, I called my coach and I was like, I want to come move there, for a couple of months, however long,” Flood said.

A homecoming will be calling for Flood if and when the Saxons can get back to in-person learning.

“I am welcome to stay here as long as I want, but I can also leave whenever I want, so that is the good thing about it,” Flood, the youngest of three daughters, said.

While loving standing volleyball, sitting is Flood’s path to playing for years and years to come after she earns her high school diploma, with plans on attending Linfield University to explore the field of intensive care nursing.

“I kind of just put all of my emotions and effort into sitting volleyball, and I mean, it’s paid out, so it’s turned out well.”

Flood says she has missed some moments to pursue her practice.

“All throughout high school I have missed just about every dance, just about every big thing I could miss, I missed it just on the fact that it coincidentally, it was on the exact same weekend as training, so I am kind of used to having FOMO, like my fear of missing out is always just terrible, because I was always missing out, but now it’s like, oh, my friends are just all at home hanging out, I don’t need to be jealous of that because I am not missing anything,” Flood said.

Flood does, however, miss her dog, Harper.

“She’s my best friend,” Flood said. “Like, not kidding. I have said it a hundred times, if I could have brought her to Oklahoma with me, I could live here forever. I would be completely fine, but unfortunately, my parents love her as much as I do so they would not let me do that.”

Flood’s parents certainly love her to allow her to do what she is doing, it’s just a bummer the Paralympics were postponed, as last week was supposed to be the Gold Medal match.

Flood and her teammates are now holding out hope that the World ParaVolley Intercontinental Championships will take place this spring.

Do you know of a high school athlete that deserves recognition? If so, please email FOX 12′s Nick Krupke at nick.krupke@kptv.com.